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In the last decade, Bolivia, as with most countries in the region, has seen an unprecedented increase of its prison population. This is often explained as the consequence of a punitive populism sweeping Latin America. Our article investigates what triggered this punitive turn in Bolivia by identifying some of the factors that impact crime policy and growing prison populations since the election of president Evo Morales in 2006. We argue that a complex array of local and international factorsdoi:10.5204/ijcjsd.v7i4.1075 fatcat:oeh454m5rfhpperqwuma6fmiru